As Independent Retailer Month enters its third week, retailers are being encouraged to recognise the benefits of collaboration on the high street.
The annual Independent Retailer Month campaign has seen hundreds of small businesses in towns up and down the UK running events and activities to help drive footfall and encourage shoppers to spend their money locally.
In Cambridge, more than 45 of the city’s independent shops are joining forces with a combination of special offers, competitions, events and promotions. A ‘Discovery Card’ invites consumers to collect six stamps from different participating businesses in order to be entered into a prize draw to win £150.
Dunblane’s independent retailers are also collaborating. Throughout July, more than 20 local businesses are taking part in a loyalty card scheme, where consumers collect stickers from participating retailers for a chance to win one of three cash prizes.
A similar concept was undertaken in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. For the first time, the town’s smaller businesses joined together to hold an Independent Shopping Trail with certificates and sweets for kids and a chance to win dinner for two at one of the market town’s independent restaurants. The trail was so successful that its organisers have now decided to set up a town team to create more ways to generate interest in the local high street.
The trail’s organiser, Melody Shanahan-Kluth, said: “Collaboration between shops will always be a good thing. Our trail invites the public to visit shops that they might not have been in before, or that they might not even have realised were independent businesses. Through this event, we have got independent retailers talking to each other about what can benefit Sleaford’s high street, and a town team has been formed to ensure those ideas come to fruition.”